Exercise is important for everyone, but when you start getting older, it takes on even greater importance. The problem is, when you’re feeling stiff or you’re in pain, it can be very difficult to find the motivation you need to exercise.
But, exercise doesn’t have to be exhausting or painful. For seniors, daily exercise can actually be quite simple. At The Marshes of Skidaway Island, we encourage our members to partake in daily exercise because it is instrumental in helping our members lead active and enjoyable lives. Here are 11 easy exercises for seniors that you can start adding to your daily routine today. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel!
#1: Do Squats
Improving your lower body strength is important for maintaining your balance and stability. And, an easy and effective way to increase your lower body strength is to do squats. When you start, you should use the back of a chair for support. Keep your arms out in front of you and your back straight and squat to an almost sitting position. Hold the position for a few moments and then stand back up. Repeat for two sets of ten, taking breathers when necessary. Once you start building up your muscles, you’ll be able to do your squats without the chair assist.
#2: Raise Your Arms with Resistance
To improve your upper body strength, lift hand weights above your head, hold them there for a few moments, and then bring the weights back down. Repeat for two sets of ten. The resistance of the weights will help strengthen your arms and upper body. You can also substitute resistance bands for weights if you prefer.
#3: Do Bicep Curls
As you age and your muscles start to weaken, being able to perform everyday tasks like lifting a milk jug becomes increasingly difficult. Doing simple bicep curls with light weights will help you maintain your arm strength so you can continue doing these tasks without worry. This exercise can be performed either seated or standing. With the weight at your side and your palms facing up, keep your elbows tucked in and bend your elbows to lift the weight toward your chest. Hold the position for a moment and then lower your arm slowly so you build resistance. Do two sets of ten per arm with a rest in between the sets.
#4: Do Leg Raises
Another easy exercise that can help improve lower body strength is leg raises. To do this exercise, stand behind a chair and hold on to it for balance. Lift one leg straight out to the side. Keep the leg aligned from heel to hip while keeping your back completely straight. Hold it for a moment and slowly lower the leg. Do two sets of ten reps per leg, alternating legs between sets. You can also do back leg raises following this same principle.
#5: Do Lower Body Stretches
Stretching is important for keeping your muscles limber and your joints lubricated. To do lower body stretches, stand behind a chair and use it for support. Bring one leg up behind you and grab your foot with your hand. Hold the position for about 30 seconds and then slowly lower the leg. Repeat the stretch with the other leg.
#6: Do Upper Body Stretches
To keep your upper body as loose and flexible as possible, doing upper body stretches daily is a must. To do this stretch, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms straight down at your sides. Bring both arms behind your back and grasp your hands. Gently pull your shoulders back and hold the position for 30 seconds. Slowly release and repeat.
#7: Practice Low Impact Exercises
There are several low impact exercises that seniors can practice that can provide incredible health benefits. Such practices include yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and others.
#8: Water Aerobics
Seniors can enjoy maximum benefits from their exercises when they are performed in a swimming pool. The water adds natural resistance to every move, so simply walking around the pool offers greater results from walking the same distance down the sidewalk. Taking a water aerobics class isn’t just great for your health, it’s also fun and you can do it with your friends.
#9: Do Toe and Chair Stands
While standing behind a chair, hold onto the chair for support and lift yourself up onto your toes while keeping your body nice and straight. Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly bring your heels back down to the floor. Repeat the exercise for two sets of ten reps.
#10: Do Practice Pushups
Doing traditional pushups is hard even for those who exercise regularly. But, you can still reap the same benefits without the difficulty simply by modifying the exercise into something more senior-friendly. These “practice” pushups are performed while standing up. Stand arm’s length from a wall and perform your pushups against the wall just as you would if you were doing them on the ground. Do two sets of ten with a rest in between the sets.
#11: Do Aerobics
Aerobics have long been a favorite exercise for seniors and it’s not hard to see why. This low impact form of exercise is excellent for helping seniors burn calories, improve endurance and energy, and aid in maintaining excellent health. Aerobics is great for heart health, for joints, for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and for just staying healthy.
Interested in Savannah Senior Housing? Plan a Visit to The Marshes
The Marshes of Skidaway Island is an active and vibrant Savannah senior housing community where like-minded seniors can enjoy an unparalleled quality of life on a lush, beautifully maintained resort-like campus. If you want to enjoy your retirement years in a fun and supportive environment where health and wellness are at the forefront of what we do, then do yourself a favor and plan a visit to The Marshes.
If you’re interested in visiting our life plan community, simply give us a call today at 800-889-6238 to schedule a visit. At The Marshes, you really can live the life you have always dreamed about living after retirement.